I’m back. How have you all been???
It seems like so much more time than only one week has gone by since I posted last. It really is amazing how much can happen in such a short period of time. Last Sunday I was heading back to our home in LA from South Carolina, with a huge task before me. I cannot adequately express how much your thoughtful messages have helped lift my heavy heart. I thank you all for your kindness, support, and uplifting words. They have helped me through this week more than you will know.
For those of you who have been in our shoes; having to let a beloved fur-baby go, when it seems as though they just might be able to carry on a little bit longer, you know the anguish we faced leading up to last Monday. You might even know the residual guilt that lingers even after you’ve said your good-byes, wondering if maybe you had started some sort of protocol earlier, opted for, in Mack’s case, the removal of his adrenal tumor, would he, could he have lived on with a doggie wheelchair a few more years???
He couldn’t tell me what he would have wanted, so it was up to me, to us, to guess. Three different vets assured me that he would lose all dignity to have to spend the rest of his life using a wheelchair, while his two healthy, virile pack mates ran around freely on four good legs. We were assured that we did right by him. That it was time.
Mack himself shared with all of us that he was tired. That he had spent twelve good years with us, and that he was ready to go.
Actually, I take that back. I don’t believe he was ready, nor do I think for five minutes that he wanted to go. But, what I do believe he communicated to us, with his eyes, was that it was enough. We had done enough; and more importantly, he had fought long enough. I could see that he didn’t have any fight left in him. No dog cart, or tumor removal surgery would do the trick to revive his weary soul. Once I saw that clearly in his eyes, I knew I had to put myself aside. I had to let the desire to want him to stay on with us forever, go. His needs needed to come first, and as hard as it was to walk him into the vet’s office, one last time, I knew that it was what he needed us to do for him.
So we bucked up, and we did what he needed us to do.
I want to extend my deepest gratitude to those of you who wrote me to share your opinions on having our other two boys with us when we let Mack go. As you know, I/we initially didn’t want them there. I had read that it was too upsetting for the other members of the pack to be present when there alpha passes (with the assistance of man), so we had zero plans to have them there. But, within the last few days of Mack’s life, Duke was beside himself. He laid with Mack almost all day long, every day. He knew that his alpha was fading, he stayed near to him, to comfort him, and to show his loyalty to him. Kohl, was an emotional mess. Clingy with us. Crying for no reason, and pacing through the house. Then you shared your thoughts on how having them with their alpha when they pass actually brings them closure. Finding that hard to believe, I did some research on the subject, and I read that it helps them to grieve, and let go. Our firm stance on not having them with us changed, and judging from how the boys are settling in to their new lives of being a duo, rather than a trio, in contrast to how Mack and Duke did after we lost Kuda. I can see clearly that your suggestions were in fact the lesser of two evils, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy lives, and schedules to share with me your experiences, and for guiding me in the better direction.
Our sweet Mack is finally free of all his ailments now. I pray that he is reunited with his spunky big brother, who was taken from him far too soon, and I hope that they think about us often, and remember us fondly as a family who loved them deeply, and enjoyed them every day that we were blessed to call them our dogs.
xoxo to our “Mack truck” who plowed through each and every illness this life threw at him, to bless us with his love and energy for twelve fun, love filled years. See you on the other side sweet, brave boy, know that you are deeply missed down here.